Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas handmade for the budding naturalist

Christmas traditions have changed a lot since we have been blessed with our children.  At first, it was to accommodate our new additions, but throughout the years, these changes have been dictated by our new intake on life, and the willingness to make things different for our children.

One of the first thing that was thrown out the door, was the materialism that comes with Christmas.  We rather make this time of year of time of celebration and family time, rather then a shopping spree. We are truly happy with this turnaround.

But gift giving still happens, on a much lower scale.  One reason is that we try as much as possible to give handmade gifts.  We feel that it teaches the children the value of handwork, to value the things they receive, and it limits the quantity of things they are given. (yes, trust me it does!! In a time when toys were all handmade, kids didn't have as much toys as they do now, because the parents didn't have the TIME to make more!!  I have been repeating this to myself a lot of time while working on E's gift...)

The first present I worked on was for X.  It is something I have been wanting to do for a while, but was waiting for the perfect moment to do it.  I'm glad I waited, timing is indeed just perfect.
He has started to show a marked interest for anything nature.  Anything science as a matter of fact.  And I felt a nature discovery bag was the perfect tool to sustain and nurture this interest.

it does look a bit wrinkled, It was just unpacked after coming back fro Christmas celebrations. ;)

So I made a messenger bag.  Manly enough for a little boy, with pockets of course, but cute enough for my little man.

I used heavy twill in a khaki color, and Heather Ross tadpole pattern.

I didn't follow a specific pattern.  I pretty much eyeballed with an made a mix of many patterns I have used through out the years.  I did follow to the T Meg's naturalist bag pattern for the strap.  I'm  glad I did, it turned out amazing.

The inspiration for this bag came from scavenger hunt cards that I saw a while ago, on the very good blog Saltwater kids.  I used the directions she gave on her blog, and voila.  I love them so so much!

I used royalty free images found on the net, and some of my own as well.  There are 20 cards total.  The set can be used through out the year, as there are seasonal items for each season.

I added a tiny container to the set of cards to put tiny treasure.  This was a hit!

I added to the bag a set of identification cards, a notebook, pencil.  I have yet to find a good magnifying glass and a bug jar, but that will come in due time.

And of course, he couldn't resist to add a few things (ssss) on that eyelet...cleaver idea Meg!

I'm happy with the bag, but I'm happier that my boy loves it!

Exchanging handmade present is a totally other experience then store bought stuff.  I had to laugh when I saw Kylie's post about her blocks.  I was right into gift making at that point, and I remember having the same feeling of inadequacy at first, and thinking that store bought items were way better then what I would do.  Turnaround 180 degrees I guess.  The bag is surely not perfect either, but I have come to think that those imperfections are what makes it unique and priceless (for them and for us)

What did you give your children at Christmas this year?


  1. Oh I love the scavenger cards. They are on my to do list for tomorrow. A lovely lovely blog. I will be back!

  2. Thank you, and most of all good luck on creating them. I had an amazing time making those, and I have a feeling that X will have an amazing time using them. I hope they turn out just as you imagine them! And please, don't hesitate to share them with us!

  3. I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas. For us at Christmas, we give some handmade gifts but equally as important we only give our children one or two gifts. They get so many from family, we want them to treasure and appreciate what they have. A friend gave Caspar a gorgeous handmade bag (for his b'day) and it is so similar to yours! I will post about it soon.